Everyone thinks of homes as a surefire investment, steadily rising in value year after year. But like any structure, homes slowly crumble over time unless you keep them up.
In other words, for your home to appreciate to its maximum value, you must maintain it.
Here are the 15 common house maintenance mistakes that can depress your property value. If you want to avoid wasting money, pay attention to this list.
Resolve $10,000 or more of your debt
Credit card debt is suffocating. It constantly weighs on your mind and controls every choice you make. You can end up emotionally and even physically drained from it. And even though you make regular payments, it feels like you can never make any progress because of the interest.
National Debt Relief could help you resolve your credit card debt with an affordable plan that works for you. Just tell them your situation, then find out your debt relief options.
How to get National Debt Relief to help you resolve your debt: Sign up for a free debt assessment here. (Do not skip this step!) By signing up for a free assessment, National Debt Relief can assist you in settling your debt, but only if you schedule the assessment.
Ignoring an old roof
A damaged roof is a concept that can strike fear in the heart of any homeowner. The idea of replacing a roof is terrifying because it’s often expensive.
Even worse, however, is letting an old roof continue to age. This can lead to leaks and bigger issues that cause problems to spiral and your home’s value to plummet.
Although fixing or replacing a roof can be expensive, don’t delay. Find a way to pay for it, even if it means taking a temporary part-time job or finding another way to make extra money.
Not pulling permits
It can be tempting to skip obtaining a permit if you’re planning a small renovation project.
However, not only is this morally questionable, but it also can become a big issue if you decide to sell later. When putting your home on the market, you're required by law to disclose any renovations.
Whether you are doing the job DIY or hiring a contractor, make sure you apply for the permits when local laws say you must. If you're caught trying to sneak around permit laws, you could be fined or might have to do the work over from scratch.
The bottom line: It is never a good idea to violate the law, and that includes when you tackle a home renovation.
Neglecting to take care of the yard
Yard maintenance is physically demanding work that many would like to avoid for as long as possible. But the longer you let your yard go, the worse it will get.
That neglect could turn into an unmanageable project that will become an eyesore that destroys your home’s curb appeal.
Earn $200 cash rewards bonus with this incredible card
There's a credit card that's making waves with its amazing bonus and benefits. The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card(Rates and fees) has no annual fee and you can earn $200 after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.
The Active Cash Card puts cash back into your wallet. Cardholders can earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases — easy! That's one of the best cash rewards options available.
This card also offers an intro APR of 0% for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (then 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable). Which is great for someone who wants a break from high interest rates, while still earning rewards.
The best part? There's no annual fee.
Failing to replace old appliances
New appliances are expensive. But keeping old appliances well past their prime could hurt your home’s value when you go to sell.
Old appliances will immediately make your home look dated. They also might consume more energy than the new models you can get today. So, bite the bullet and pay for new appliances when the time comes.
Not changing your air filters
Air filters must be changed regularly, typically quarterly or twice a year. If you neglect to change them consistently, your HVAC system is likely to see increased wear and tear.
An HVAC system that’s been through the wringer will alarm potential buyers, which could reduce your home’s selling price.
Using the wrong tools
Using the wrong tools on a home maintenance project could end up causing damage that will need to be fixed.
For example, you should use a tile saw to cut tile. Wait until you have access to the right tools before taking on any project.
Not optimizing the home for energy efficiency
From installing double-pane windows to ensuring your thermostat is programmed to maximize energy usage, the expectation in homes today is that they will be optimized for energy efficiency.
So, if you want to maintain your home’s value, don’t ignore replacing old insulation or an outdated HVAC system.
Neglecting to clean the dryer vent
Each time you run the dryer, clean the vent afterward. This is an easy, daily maintenance task that you can handle.
Failing to clean the vent regularly means facing a potential fire hazard and causing more wear and tear to your machine than is necessary.
Forgetting to check for termite damage
Termites destroy nearly everything in their path and can cause extensive damage from top to bottom in a home.
These tiny insects can be difficult or impossible for the average homeowner to detect, so consider hiring an inspector to check for them.
Using drain cleaners too often
When you have a clogged drain, it’s tempting to use a drain cleaner to solve the problem. But this can cause more issues than it solves.
A drain cleaner sometimes merely pushes the clog lower, which could end up causing a bigger clog within your pipes. This is in addition to possible damage to the pipes from the chemicals in the drain cleaner formula.
Not addressing leaks
Whether they’re in the bathroom, kitchen, mudroom, or flowing from some unidentified source, if you don’t address leaks, you could end up with more extensive damage that will gut your home’s value.
A seemingly small leak can quickly spread from rotted wood to drywall that needs to be replaced. So, take care of leaks right away.
Letting the gutters fill up
Gutters are a critical piece of your home’s infrastructure. They direct water away from your home to prevent damage to the siding, foundation, roof, and other elements.
If you let the leaves and debris pile up, the water will have nowhere to go except toward your house. Make sure to clean gutters seasonally to prevent unnecessary damage to your home.
Not resealing your counters after you install them
Gorgeous new counters are a splurge that you’ll enjoy nearly every day. But most homeowners may not realize that they need to be sealed — and not just when you first install them.
Resealing should take place every few years to help prevent stains and damage from water, the sun, and more.
Allowing deep cleaning to fall off the radar
If you allow dirt, dust, and grime to pile up, getting your home back to a sparkling clean state will become much more difficult.
It’s important to regularly schedule deep cleaning from the baseboards to the oven to keep your home at its best.
Not having an annual maintenance plan in place
The easiest way to stay on top of these maintenance tasks is to put a plan into place. Make a checklist, then, season by season, stay on top of these tasks, and maintain your home to keep it in great shape.
Doing so could help you to get ahead financially and stay there as the years roll on.
A home can be a good investment, but you must take proper care of the structure to get the most value from it.
So, if you want to avoid wasting money by selling your home for less than what you know it's worth, make sure you avoid the mistakes on this list.